PAD Challenge 1

Why am I doing the Poem-a-Day Chapbook Challenge?

1. I don't have enough in my life to keep me busy.
2. I'm a glutton for punishment.
3. This is the best way to push myself into an unprotected space.
4. The meds have worn off.
5. All of the above.

Day 1 Challenge: write a poem in which you (or something) enters something new. (Not crazy about the title.)

Home Improvement

Home Depot makes me weep.
I travel down aisles like a tourist
in the kingdom of tools
as I look for an extension cord,
a rake, lawn bags—
things you took with you
when you left for good.
I push the metal cart,
quiet as a carriage,
along the hardest of cement floors,
so unforgiving it makes my back ache.
Look at all that needs replacing:
wrenches, screws, a drill.
I reach for caulk to rim the bathtub,
a florescent light to replace
the burned-out halo
that flickers randomly
above my head
whenever I inhabit the kitchen.
There is no permanence
in these objects,
but a sort of emptiness
from what remains.
When the snow comes
there are these snow blowers
and the multitude of shovels
standing ready for the hard
New England winter
I know is coming. How unfair
to be in this beautiful store
with its sky-high shelves,
and rows and rows of normal
unable to find improvement.
All I see is loss.


Donald Harbour said…
This is outstanding. How many times have I wandered the isles with the same emotion tugging at me? I could identify with poem enjoying its content, composition and flow.
maya ganesan said…
That's a really strong piece. (and I've been meaning to do my own personal poem-a-day challenge, and I'd forgotten all about this Poem-A-Day Chapbook Challenge! I need this challenge :) )
Jessie Carty said…
i'm doing the challenge as well - and i still haven't done my entry for today!

i really like this poem, especially the part about inhabiting the kitchen. there is such a meditative element to shopping that we don't always think about. Perhaps something meditative in the title? I also think of the Honey-Do-List and how the speaker is now the one who has to do that list...

Thanks for sharing!
January said…
Jessie, I think the only reason I felt I could complete this challenge is that I had a few poems started. It's always harder to start from scratch or, heaven forbid, get behind and play catch up!

I'll stop by later to read your poem.
January said…
Maya, jump right in! The water's fine.

Donald, thanks for stopping by. I appreciate the encouragement.
Writer Bug said…
I, too, am so impressed with this poem. It talks about so much--leaving/being left, taking on traditionally men's roles, taking care of yourself... Beauitfully done!

Oh and i just subscribed to Crab Creek Review and whose poem do I find in there but Poetmom herself!
Jill said…
Yes! This is such a strong poem.

Reminds me of when another woman poet I know became single again. Among her many triumphs--cooking pork chops on the barbecue! I know you will be a superb snow blower! I know it! And think of all the memories you'll be making for the kids, especially your daughter, learning to be strong!

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